Beyond Transformational Giftedness

Sternberg, Chowkase, Desmet, Karami, Landy, Ju, 2021

If there is one thing the world needs right now, it is gifted individuals. There are so many problems, ranging from global climate change to pandemics to enormous income disparities to uncontrolled obesity. The world needs gifted individuals to contribute toward the solution of these problems. How, though, should giftedness be conceptualized? In their recent article published in the Education Sciences (11, 5: 192) Sternberg, Chowkase, Desmet, Karami, Landy, and Ju answer this question with the introduction of the term ’transformational giftedness’.

This article discusses the kinds of transformational giftedness or giftedness that makes a positive, meaningful, and possibly enduring difference to the world. They extend previous work by suggesting that there are two kinds of transformation that matter: self-transformation and other-transformation. Combining these two kinds of transformation yields a 2 × 2 grid of four kinds of giftedness: non-transformational giftedness (no transformation), transformational giftedness (self- and other-transformation combined), self-realized giftedness (whereby one transforms oneself but not others), and other-realized giftedness (whereby one transforms others but not oneself).

The article finally concludes that the gifted movement needs to focus much more on developing transformational giftedness, or at least the potential for it, in our young people.